Expert in Smarter Science?

This post is about both Jonathan Bailor's Smarter Science of Slim as well as why I will continue to blog about why Jimmy Moore's influence is so detrimental to the larger community.  With his podcasts, Jimmy does more than just disseminate valuable information by bringing various experts and viewpoints on his well-listened to podcasts -- he interjects his personal biases into the conversations.  For quite a while lately he likes to work in the "we're all on the same side" thing so he can be seen as some sort of great healer of the rifts he, himself, has had a part in instigating  In my opinion, a recent "Ask the Low Carb Experts" episode, featuring Jonathan Bailor provides yet another example of what I'm talking about, perhaps even especially so.

ATLCX is a live weekly podcast where listeners can call in or email their questions ahead of time to be asked for them.  One would have thought that such a format might offer less of an opportunity for Jimmy Moore to interject his own opinions, and yet it seems an even more comfortable platform for him, at least judging by the few episodes I've listened to so far.

I have read The Smarter Science of Slim and blogged on Bailor and his book a few times:
And the Cherry-Picking Baton has been passed.
The Smarter Science of Slim ~ General Thoughts 
Is it Possible? "Smarter Science" worse than "Good" Science Journalism?

A super Cliff Notes version of my opinion on Bailor is that he's yet another one of those diet gurus long on the schtick and short on the facts.  He can cloak his schtick in a hundred references and studies, it doesn't mask the fact that a very cursory look at his research demonstrates the studies don't bear out the claims he's making.  On his major point that eating less and moving more not only doesn't work, but can be harmful, he cites weight loss studies where participants did in fact either eat less and/or move more than at baseline.  Sure, we get the usual citing of cases seeming to show a metabolic advantage for low carb vs. low fat diets, but this much is not really anything groundbreaking.

Bailor talks of eating SANEly and incorporates a combination of low carb advocate positions into a generally low fat, low carb, high protein diet.  That's right ... low fat.  The low carb masses are clearly not enamored with Bailor who: 
  • Eats and/or recommends eating low fat or fat free dairy and egg whites for protein. 
  • Believes in the satiating power of water and fiber content in foods
  • Recommends a higher protein intake than is in vogue in LC circles (especially lately)
He does not market his plan as a low carb diet ... well, except when he can take advantage of the fact that it is one for exposure and promotional purposes.  

In this vein, we are treated to version 8675309 of the "can't we all just get along"  kumbaya kabuki dance with Jimmy Moore.  Bailor declares that everyone -- well those who have earned their LLVLCarbScout science badge anyway -- agrees that the following things are bad (bad, bad, bad!!):
  • Starch (first and foremost and repeatedly)
  • Grains
  • Sugar
  • Seed oils
  • Processed foods
What's good?  Real whole foods.   We could get a little tipsy playing "whole" with this podcast!  

Bailor even contradicts the main premise of his Smarter Science schtick -- that you need to eat more and exercise less (smarter) to lose weight.  Because he specifically addresses that a caloric deficit is needed in order to lose weight/burn fat and makes the claim that eating whole natural foods spontaneously accomplishes that.  Nothing wrong with that last part.  In general switching from a diet of nutrient bereft, calorically dense foods to one comprised of nutrient rich foods will result in the desired "weight loss without trying" in many people.  And consuming lots of low fat protein sources and fiber -- especially that fiber -- will mean you are eating more, a lot more, volume-wise.

But in this podcast he's really all over the map trying to please everyone -- most especially the nutritionally ketotic host -- and contradicting either himself within the podcast, or himself in what he writes in the book.

Bailor tells us early on that he always had trouble gaining weight and used to eat like 6000 cal/day while telling his clients to eat 1200.  First of all, I don't necessarily see anything wrong with this other than that 1200  cal/day may be too little for many.  He's obviously one of those naturally lean people with a high metabolism.  Chronic undereating can be detrimental, but there's nothing misguided or hypocritical about counseling an overweight person to eat less ... which is what he acknowledged in the podcast is how TSSOS ultimately works.  Yet the flipside is this.  Is Bailor following his own plan?  It would appear so.  He avoids starch and eats like 15 servings of veggies a day.  Why is Bailor "bulking" up like this?  

He also eats egg whites and fat-free Greek yogurt.  As you listen to the podcast you'll hear his rationale -- that he doesn't consider whole eggs a good protein source because they are about 60% fat by calories.  He trips over this a bit because he realizes he's admitting that high fat protein sources can impact bodyweight by -- gasp! -- coming with too many calories!  Nonetheless, it seems like a reasonable argument when put in bogey-carbman context as he does.  You wouldn't call beans a protein b/c they come with more carbs than protein (some will be surprised that according to CRON-o-meter, evil soybeans are 43% fat, 33% protein, 23% carb) .  In any case while repeating "whole" in reference to foods over and over again, he seems focused on either refined/processed/partial foods to {paraphrase} "achieve his goals".  Bailor's goal is a rather high protein diet which is integral to his SANE eating -- not only the S = satiety, but the E = efficiency.  Bailor's efficiency is regurgitated Feinman thermo -- a first law CICO argument based on thermogenic factors for the macros.  The thing is, while Bailor chides the fat-phobic, he cannot with a straight face make the case for protein being SANE without making a case for fat being inSANE based on being highly efficient for converting food to body fat.  In Chapter 12 Bailor rehashes Feinman's metabolic advantage schtick -- taking a few liberties with Jequier's thermogenic factors to show why starch is twice as likely to add to your body fat than protein.  I've copied his table and corrected it for Jequier's average factors (22.5% v. 30% for protein, 7 v. 6% for carb, and 2.5% for fat).

For someone who did such exhaustive research for 10 years, he sure is quick to just leave fat out of the discussion when it is convenient.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that Bailor knows calories count and fat calories are quite low on his satiety scale (he lists only lean animal proteins near the top, and oils near the bottom).

I really hope Jonathan didn't hurt himself contorting his positions too much as he genuflected to Jimmy Moore.  Really.  The argument that "your goals" should guide your protein choices, and if your goal is to eat a lot of fat, then by all means do so, goes against his entire book.  He is presenting the unequivocal "facts" after all.

But it gets even worse as he slogans on with the various versions of describing eating quality "whole" foods.  Bailor clearly views dairy fat as *bad*, but doesn't want to come right out and say so to the Jimmy Moore audience.  If he didn't, why, then would he resort to reengineering his foods?  He tells of his favorite "fat dessert" consisting of fat-free Greek yogurt mixed with almond butter and cocoa.  He consumes so much cocoa he buys it by the 25 lb bag!   But what he has done is isolated the dairy protein and added back "healthy fats" from the almond butter and cocoa.   I'm not sure one could come up with a much better antithesis of a whole food than this concoction.  Why not just eat full-fat Greek yogurt ... add cocoa if you must.  Or chomp on a few almonds -- coat them with cocoa if you must.  But cocoa is a highly processed/refined food.  There's no getting around that one.  And Bailor makes no bones that he's engineering a perfect complete food from the parts of others.  Yet to Bailor, eating a potato would be inSANE??!!

Which brings me to the "N" in that acronym because that stands for Nutrient and he spends a fair amount of time dissing starch as devoid of nutrients while treating protein as a nutrient -- mixing his macros and micros.  One can use wheat as your only comparison (he compares it to spinach in the book), and make a good case, but compare a potato with chicken or even 90% lean beef (roughly 50/50 fat/protein raw) and the potato wins out on many counts over the "protein".   What is interesting is that Bailor also keeps all oils (yes, even coconut) relatively low.    While fats & proteins certainly convey their fair amount of vitamins and minerals, so, too do carbohydrates.

From p. 134/Ch. 23 of  TSSOS
Bailor likes to class foods as one of the three macros based on the predominant composition.  This is absurd, because look what happens when you do -- four of the six foods he lists as proteins are not "whole", and even lean meats can run you afoul of his designations*.  Still if you look past this a bit you see he has mostly just found a way to repackage a high protein diet in a more palatable way for the mainstream while demonizing carbs appealing to the Jimmy Moore's out there.  Who cares that he's not even in the same ball park as low carbers, when push comes to shove ... he relied on enough LC "researchers" to coalesce his theories.    Thus he is an expert on the research!  Ha!!

More than just discovering how poorly he represented and/or interpreted the studies in TSSOS (see my previous posts), we gain some additional insights into Bailor's research rigor early on in the podcast when he gushes over the researchers Jimmy has had on the podcast and expresses his nervousness in following in their footsteps.  Ummm ...  when I look at the list of podcast guests to date, (listed alphabetically, Dr's all together:  Chris Kresser,  Chris Masterjohn, David Getoff, Denise Minger, Dr. Cassandra Forsythe, Dr. Cate Shanahan,  Dr. Donald Layman,  Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Fred Pescatore, Dr. Jeff Volek, Dr. Jonny Bowden, Dr. Kaayla Daniel, Dr. Larry McCleary, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dr. Peter Attia, Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Ron Rosedale, Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Steven Gundry, Dr. Thomas Dayspring, Dr. William Davis, Fred Hahn, Jackie Eberstein, Jenny Ruhl, Julia Ross, Maria Emmerich, Mark Sisson, Mat Lalonde, Nora Gedgaudas, Robb Wolf, Sarah Fragoso/Jason Seib, and Valerie Berkowitz)  I see very few primary researchers in the field of obesity and human metabolism.  At this stage of the game, I find it rather a turn-off for anyone to refer to Gary Taubes, also gushed over by Bailor, as any sort of researcher.  Any serious scientist would laugh at the mere thought of Taubes' books being anywhere near equivalent to a term paper for a science class at the undergraduate level, let alone a PhD thesis (nevermind the three he claims it's equivalent to!)   They just aren't written that way, and his research -- consisting largely of interviewing scientists and skimming outdated textbooks and the occasional 1960's through early 80's journal article -- is not the "stuff" of secondary research material, e.g. a literature review.   Bailor only improves upon Gary's work by doing a better job of referencing his sources and including mostly peer review articles in said references.  But his research is probably worse in that he has upped the ante on the quantity over quality scale.  By that I mean he cites a long list of studies but his compilation of them (or as Wheat Belly is amusingly quoted as saying, "complication") leaves a lot to be desired in terms of (a) properly representing the content and conclusions of the studies, and (b) even attempting a comprehensive review of the literature.  Bailor did manage to indirectly cite Taubes though -- on the part that has been retracted, citing Newsholme and Start and that whole alphaglycerol phosphate debacle!

WOW.  As usual, I didn't really intend this to be a rant, but lookie there, it sure turned into one.  Ah well, whatcha gonna do?  Pulling this all in for some summary statements ...
  • Bailor claims to be a guy who can't gain weight, yet eats 15 servings of veggies a day, lean meats, whey powder, egg whites, and low/no fat yogurt and cottage cheese and no starch.  Is he eating 3-4-5-6000 cal/day like this?  This doesn't make sense to me.
  • Bailor repeatedly advocates real whole foods, assigns whole foods mostly to the carb and fat categories while promoting protein above all.  Without specifically saying so, he shuns animal fats and replaces them with "healthy" plant fats from nut butters and cocoa.  This comes through in the book, but really loudly and clearly in this podcast.  This is NOT whole foods at all then.  
  • Ultimately Bailor says do what works for you.  Set your own goals.  But he puts forth some compelling (though generally not factual nor truthful) arguments to eat *his* way.   Any diet over, say, 40% fat would run afoul of TSSOS despite his protestations that he's not lipophobic.  He wants to have it all ways to Sunday -- Jimmy never really challenges him, and he genuflects so as not to rock the LLVLC boat (speaking of boats, he'll be on the next LC cruise).  You simply can't say X, Y, Z makes is inSANE and making America fat, produce a SANE eating plan to combat it, then say ... "but do what works for you" when that could be anything, like eating 85% fat when no human culture ever did.  
It is truly disheartening that this is the sort of "mainstreaming" of alternate nutrition that is going on out there.   My final note would be to point out that there is NO unifying message in the flawed idea that "starch is bad".  NONE.  I see Bailor as another great divider to add to the list. 

*A personal aside about whey protein.  It does not satiate me, it generally makes me ravenously hungry especially consumed without carbs.  This is likely because the high BCAA content of whey is highly insulinogenic and may put me a little hypo.  One would think that in 10 years of research Bailor might have stumbled across that factoid more than once and stricken whey from his list of SANE foods for just that reason (it's insulinogenic thus Aggressive!).


ProudDaddy said…
Speaking of Jimmy, he is now claiming to have gained more than 6 pounds of lean muscle in just two weeks! The new Arnold? Most mortal bodybuilders manage that in a year.
Unknown said…

"Did you see what happened during those first two weeks after I started some hot and heavy weight lifting in the gym? I GAINED NEARLY SIX POUNDS! But I didn’t really change anything about my diet. In fact, the only change I made was in the commitment to be at the gym twice a week lifting weights in a keto-adapted, fasted state. So it’s probably safe to say that the “weight gain” I experienced through September 23, 2012 was mostly lean muscle mass that I was putting on very quickly. And I’m sure stored body fat (and maybe some water) was still coming off my body, so the muscle gain was very likely greater than 6 pounds."


"But the 255-pound Jimmy doesn’t have the same caloric requirements as the 306-pound Jimmy did back in May. So I cut down on the volume of food just a bit and haven’t felt any ill effects in hunger, energy or anything else since ostensibly cutting out around 300 calories from my daily diet. Adjusting your food intake to your new, smaller body is a critical key to continuing the success moving forward."


"People have asked me what my goal weight is. The answer is simple: whatever weight I end up getting to while still in a keto-adapted state. Obviously the 230-pound mark will be huge because that’s where I was after my original Atkins diet weight loss in 2004. But I’m not putting any limitations on where my weight will end up because I’m more concerned about being healthy, feeling well and performing at the optimal level for me. If that’s at 230, 220, or even 200 pounds, then so be it. What happens will happen and I’ll be happy to go along for the ride in the process of it all!"

How do you adjust for maintenance while being in permanent ketosis?

BTW - this is why he's NEVER shared/published his menus for this latest N=1 experiment

He's going to MAKE YOU PAY FOR THEM??
Unknown said…
BTW - does anyone actually believe that the avatar is Jimmy?

Unknown said…
Six pounds in two weeks, let's assume 4 workouts per week, so that's a total of 8 workouts. I'm no good at math, what's that 3/4 of a pound of muscle gained per workout? 12 ounces?

Dude's the God Of Weightlifting
CarbSane said…
Curling 20 lbs? Nope ... can't be Jimmy >:)

I hadn't realized he stopped exercising completely during those 4 months. It will be interesting to see what his body comp is ... that's if he'll reveal it. It's good to see him acknowledge calories. DOH!!!
Unknown said…
This is what he considers "heavy weightlifting"!

LLVLCBlog MOD • 17 minutes ago • parent −

Nope, same workouts. My exercise consists of going to the gym about every three days and engaging in lots of what Mark Sisson refers to as "play" activity. Mostly practicing frisbee golf to kick Tom's butt when I go back to visit him in early November. :D

And he gained 6 pounds of muscles on that!!
bentleyj74 said…
I'd be very concerned about that level of fluid retention given his other health markers if I were him.
Puddleg said…
I have to agree with you Ev. You nail two of my pet hates; "healthy" diets that are chimeric, taking apart and putting together parts of foods to "improve" on nature; and, diet books that are so complex and self-contradictory that the basic plan can't be summarized in a two-page pamphlet. (Looking at you, endless series of X-Factor Diet books).
river rance said…
The "huckster" AKA Jimmy Moore, by his own admission some time back, is taking an anabolic steroid. Andro Gel or equivalent. One of the EPO's Lance Armstrong and fellow cyclists were busted for using. Jimmy's, of course is legal, cause a Dr. writes the script. His claims of 6#'s of lean muscle mass(even with andro use) is patently absurd. Any one reading Jimmy's boast and even momentarily believing it is stupid! Period. Oh, sorry, wait a minute, it's Jimmy making %4@7 up again and of course makes me a "hater" for calling him out on a LIE. How will this impact his professional frisbee golf career? Does that tour test for EPO's? Is Jimmy Moore now trying to co-op "Bodybuilding" too?
Unknown said…
He's using a doctor prescribed compounded testosterone cream. I get a testosterone injection from my doctor every 14 days.

He says he's eating between 75-100 grams of protein per day and his diet is 85% fat, 12% protein, 3% carbohydrate

Do the math - that's between 2500 and 3333 calories/day

He also says - "every visit to the gym was done in a fasted state of at least 18 and as much as 24 hours since my last meal."

How can you fast for 18-24 hours AND consume AT LEAST 2500 calories per day??
an3drew said…
Here's something for you guys to chew on: a meteor slammed into Earth many thousands of years ago and makes it so that we need to eat fish every day, sometimes raw and living, straight out of the water, in order to be optimal.

Pay me a hundred or so a month and you can consult with me via webcam.
Unknown said…
Jack - welcome to our little forum - we're free BTW
Unknown said…
Jack Kruse is riding the crazy train

"This means seafood is loaded with fats that are not used for energy but our conserved for use in our cell membranes. It means they are not part of the calorie equation and no one seems to realize it. This means that the Epi-paleo Rx allows us to eat the most nutrient dense diet for the brain, while simultaneously experiencing not having to deal with the calorie penalty that causes us to gain weight."

Ash Simmonds said…
Jenny, Jenny who can I turn to?
Unknown said…

Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?
You give me somethin' I can hold on to
I know you think I'm like the other before
Who saw your name and number on the wall

Jenny I got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don't change your number

Jenny, Jenny, you're the girl for me
Oh you don't know me but you make me so happy.
I tried to call you before, but I lost my nerve
I tried my imagination, but I was discouraged
[ Lyrics from: ]
Jenny I got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don't change your number

I got it, I got, I got it
I got your number on the wall
I got it, I got, I got it
For a good time, For a good time call...

Jenny don't change your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny I call your number

Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?

For the price of a dime I can always turn to you

Sly said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sly said…
I started visiting gym 3 weeks ago, after several months' break.
My weight went up 2.3 kg (5 pounds) in these 3 weeks, and I wonder, what is it???
I know it's not muscle, I bet its probably water and glycogen, some fat - can anyone competent explain this to me?

I train very heavy with weights, 3 times/week, additionally 2 days of heavy aerobic exercise. I take creatine 8-10g/day, whey protein, vitamins.

Can creatine be "guilty" of this gain?

PS. I want to recommend this guy on Youtube:
In one of his films he says about muscle gain: if I remember correctly, in one week you can gain pea sized muscle mass...
rodeo said…
Creatine holds water so it's the likely culprit :)
Simon Carter said…
Yes, Jimmy Moore is a huckster. Yes, he is a buffoon. Yes, he doesn't believe in Evolution. But if he is actually 256 lbs now and could get down to 230 lbs he is going to have some serious credibility with the unwashed masses. He does have a lot of motivation to get there, it would mean a lot of money for him.
bentleyj74 said…
Follow your fast with a massive calorie dense binge.
Unknown said…

Degenerative changes, protective substances, and problems with ancestral diets

The current dietary recommendations established on interpretations of what people ate in the past seems reasonable. But this assumes that our present form is the most optimal adaptation to our present environment, and as such, rejects the observation that organisms brought up in artificial environments can live significantly longer than their counterparts in the wild (Parsons, n.d.).

As an aside, how bleak is the realization that our fate is limited to the possibilities that were bestowed upon our ancestors? A cursory investigation of the scientific literature furnishes us with a solid basis for rejecting the proposition of looking into the past for answers to problems in the present.

Everything considered, low carbohydrate diets are degenerative, whereas high carbohydrate (particularly sugar) diets are protective for a myriad of reasons. For one, a low carbohydrate diet, for whatever reason, causes rapid loss of body water, inducing the rise in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The effectors of this system are toxic to tissues, and activate mediators of inflammation, including leptin, MCP, and the transcription factor, NF-κB, which is also the principle regulator of aging (Adler et al., 2007; Briones et al., 2012).
Lerner said…
Volek as pitchman for a sports drink company (UCan):

Keep an eye out if he discloses anything when putting out studies on corn-derived slow carbs.
Larry Eshelman said…
I've been following Andrew Kim's posts and finding them very interesting. Since I came off a very low carb diet, I've been eating a lot of starchy foods, and recently a lot more fruit and even some honey (which Kim favors over starch), but I haven't yet been able to bring myself to hit the (processed) sugar.
Lerner said…
Sly says: "in one week you can gain pea sized muscle mass..."

But that depends on what one's starting point is. Beginners can gain quickly. So too for re-beginners. That's especially true for natural mesomorphs, who also gain more - of course. Steroid users can break all limits. I'm not a mesomorph and I've never even seen steroids. There's a famous workout/nutrition sciencey guy called Will Brink. He says that a person can gain roughly 30 pounds of muscle over the years, then it's very hard to gain more. That's pretty much how it worked for me.

Limiting calories would inhibit muscle gains, regardless of the pied piper notion of "leangains" which is another 'brave new paradigm'... yeah, right.

With creatine, I can gain roughly 5 pounds in a week. For the first 2 days, nothing. Then a lot of water gain in the next 2-3 days, then it tapers off. Maybe 8 pounds total. So if you continue to gain, that continuing is probably not from creatine anymore.
Lerner said…
Also, I haven't taken any creatine for a long time because it disposed me to mild heatstroke in hot weather. So you never now.

But, there are also many health benefits now being ascribed to creatine, even in cognitive function.
Sanjeev said…
> whey protein. It does not satiate me ... likely because the high BCAA content of whey is highly insulinogenic

It doesn't make me hungry ... AFAICT it actually depresses actual sensation of hunger for a long, LONG time.

For me it just tastes extraordinarily good. Especially when mixed with some of the better flavours I used to buy I could easily eat/drink 300g (!!!!) in one day.

Compared to casein powders (tasteless by themselves, plus these heavily mask/blunt any flavours one may add) and cottage cheese, which taste only marginally better with the flavourings, whey is far worse for driving consumption.
Unknown said…

White rice can be a “safe” starch

I don’t think it’s necessary to completely eliminate rice from the diet. The EPA’s 5 ppb per day limit on arsenic is probably what we should shoot for in our diets, in light of current evidence. Many of the white rice products tested had fairly low levels of arsenic, and in the context of a few servings a week for an adult, it’s probably not an issue. As for very young children and infants, I don’t recommend serving them rice products in general, so they shouldn’t be exposed to arsenic from rice anyway. Pregnant women may want to be cautious about their rice intake, and minimize their exposure to arsenic to protect their developing fetus; finding another safe starch to replace rice during pregnancy would be wise.

So if you choose to purchase white rice, buy a brand made in California like Lundberg; their California White Basmati Rice has only 1.3 to 1.6 ppb arsenic per serving (1/4 cup uncooked), well below the safe limit. In addition, rinsing the rice before cooking and boiling it in a high water-to-rice ratio can help reduce the arsenic content significantly. (7) So if you want to keep white rice as a part of your diet, I recommend looking for a safe brand like Lundberg and rinsing the rice thoroughly before cooking in a large quantity of water; this should be adequate to make rice a safe food to eat in moderation.

Brown rice: Not a health food!

Brown rice, on the other hand, has significantly more arsenic than white rice and should be avoided or consumed rarely. Some of the brown rice brands tested contained at least 50% more than the safe limit per serving, and a few even had nearly double the safe limit. (PDF with complete details of test results) Note that some of the worst offenders for arsenic are made from brown rice: processed rice products like brown rice syrup, brown rice pasta, rice cakes and brown rice crisps. These processed products are commonly consumed by those following a “healthy” whole grain rich or gluten-free diet, but they clearly pose a significant risk of arsenic overexposure, especially if a person eats more than one serving per day. Obviously, brown rice is not a food that should be a dietary staple, or even eaten on a regular basis.

Gabriella Kadar said…
With brown rice it's not just the arsenic. The oil contained in rice bran goes rancid very quickly.
BigWhiskey said…
Dang!!! But THEY blame practically everything on tobacco smoke....
CarbSane said…
Key word "unwashed" ... He should have no credibility amongst the "washed", even if he's able to turn this thing around AND maintain at or below that original, much touted and repeated 180 lb loss. His credibility at this point is not just about his weight.

He has a lot of motivation to get there, AND stay there, but I imagine he's under a huge amount of stress as well. But it won't undo the dishonest way he's comported himself. Still, when and if he gets down to a lower weight and stays there, do you think his "weight loss success story" will highlight this 5 year struggle of serious ups and downs? I know, I know. It doesn't matter to you.

I would have had a lot more respect for a 275 lb Jimmy Moore, who maintained that weight sanely without going up and down 30 lbs at a month's clip, who used current avatars and an honest summary of his status right there up front and center in the "About". I'd say that after 8 years to have to resort to such an extreme diet to keep from regaining despite eating low carb consistently is NOT a good selling point for LC at all. It's important for those struggling, just starting out, or anywhere in between to know the pitfalls of ANY diet strategy. We all know those for conventional diets, but you never really hear about them with LC diets (and paleo) if you happen to land in one of the echo chambers. You're just doing it wrong is all. Sound familiar?
Unknown said…
How many people - if told they would have to prick their fingers 2x/say to measure their blood ketones (at a cost of at least $60/month) and eat a diet of 85% fat, 12% protein, and 3% carbohydrate for the REST OF THEIR LIVES in order to lose weight - would do it?

Also - I do not believe Jimmy has EVER MAINTAINED at a stable weight for longer than a couple of months.
Gabriella Kadar said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriella Kadar said…
Big Whiskey: do as the Kitavans: smoke in open places and don't smoke too much. ;0

CarbSane said…
I can now see Volek & Phinney probably wanted to go even more in the ketosis vein for The New Atkins. At least that book hinted that *some* might need to keep carbs under 50g/day for all eternity, but that's a far cry even from 20g.

If Jimmy ultimately succeeds in maintaining this time, it would be interesting to see how he plays it.

The data on long term low carb are scant enough as it is. Most of the diet studies use Atkins and ramp up the carbs out of induction at some point. Westman's study staying in induction (still nowhere near 85% fat) only lasted 6 months. There's no human culture to point to for this, no studies, just the say-so of Volek and Phinney and perhaps a smattering of others. This NK stuff bears no resemblance to the Inuit diet -- especially in fatty acid profile, which is really everything when you're at that level of fat.

One bottom line from all the cholesterol discussions we've been having is that ultimately nobody even knows what some things mean and this stuff has been extensively studied. So you do your best to educate yourself and then hedge your bets and hope for the best. If that breakfast was any indication of how Jimmy's eating nowadays, that's not a way I'd chance eating for life.
ProudDaddy said…
Jimmy's going to finally get a DEXA scan and another at the end of his n=1. I would be very suprised if it doesn't turn out that he's been eating his own muscle the whole time.
Unknown said…
Well here's the original low carb diet study published in NEJM

Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet

Here's the key part

Low-Carbohydrate Diet
"The low-carbohydrate, non–restricted-calorie diet aimed to provide 20 g of carbohydrates per day for the 2-month induction phase and immediately after religious holidays, with a gradual increase to a maximum of 120 g per day to maintain the weight loss. The intakes of total calories, protein, and fat were not limited. However, the participants were counseled to choose vegetarian sources of fat and protein and to avoid trans fat. The diet was based on the Atkins diet."

They GRADUALLY increased the carbohydrate from 20 grams (used for only 2 months) to 120 grams

Here's a 4 year follow-up

Four-Year Follow-up after Two-Year Dietary Interventions

"After 2 years, the mean weight loss was 2.9 kg in the low-fat group, 4.4 kg in the Mediterranean group, and 4.7 kg in the low-carbohydrate group. In addition, we found that there was a significant diet-induced regression in volume in the carotid-vessel wall. After the 2-year intervention was completed, we followed the participants for 4 more years."

"During this follow-up period, participants had regained 2.7 kg of weight lost in the low-fat group, 1.4 kg in the Mediterranean group, and 4.1 kg in the low-carbohydrate group (P=0.004 for all comparisons)."

"For the entire 6-year period, the total weight loss was 0.6 kg in the low-fat group, 3.1 kg in the Mediterranean group, and 1.7 kg in the low-carbohydrate group (P=0.01 for all comparisons)"

"At 6 years, changes from baseline in the ratio of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were similar in the three groups (P=0.62 for all comparisons), although the change in the ratio was significant in the low-carbohydrate group (a reduction of 0.16, P=0.04)"

"Reductions in triglyceride levels from baseline were significant in the Mediterranean group (21.4 mg per deciliter [0.24 mmol per liter], P=0.03) and the low-carbohydrate group (11.3 mg per deciliter (0.13 mmol per liter], P=0.02), with no significant difference among the three groups (P=0.12)"

" Overall, there were persistent and significant reductions from baseline in total cholesterol levels in all three study groups, with reductions of 7.4 mg per deciliter (0.19 mmol per liter) in the low-fat group (P=0.03), 13.9 mg per deciliter (0.36 mmol per liter) in the Mediterranean group (P=0.001), and 10.4 mg per deciliter (0.27 mmol per liter) in the low-carbohydrate group (P=0.02; P=0.71 for all comparisons)"

Unknown said…
This whole "paleo diet" is really starting to bug me

"The Paleolithic (also spelt Palaeolithic or Palæolithic) Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered (Modes I and II), and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools, probably by Hominins such as Australopithecines, 2.6 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 BP.[1] The Paleolithic era is followed by the Mesolithic. The date of the Paleolithic—Mesolithic boundary may vary by locality as much as several thousand years"

Check out the section on Diet and Nutrition

My questions - How did the paleo diet morph into a diet that is based almost entirely on saturated fat?? What part of the Paleolithic period do we get this diet from?? Where did the idiotic notion of a lifetime VLC diet come from??

Why do the paleo advocates of LCHF diets IGNORE high cholesterol and high LDL buy saying that if your HDL is high and your LD is comprised of large, fluffy particles that's what's most important?

If I remember correctly didn't Cordain and Eaton say that their version of the paleo diet was more like a Zone 40-30-30 diet?

I'm getting really pissed off that people with NO SCIENTIFIC/MEDICAL background like Nikoley or JM can pontificate on what is correct an who/what is not and that people like Taubes/Eades are taken seriously.
Exactly how long are we supposed to look at macro-nutrients before realizing we may be experiencing apophenia?

Macro-nutrient manipulation may be effective for weight loss simply because it is annoying. Through further experiments we may discover people lose weight when:

They are called "A fat hippo" 37 times a day.
They are forced to eat in a purple room.
They are shocked with a cattle prod before eating.
They are made to smell something bad during the meal.
They try to eat while hanging upside down.
They must eat without their hands.
Etc. etc. etc.

NONE of this explains the sudden rise in obesity. Tweaking LDL or HDL or TAG or WTF does not explain the sudden rise in obesity. I read about the research monkeys that had their monkey chow supplemented with a high fructose drink and a peanut butter treat. SOME of them eventually became obese. Huh? What does that prove? Obesity is a lottery?

If the relationship between health and food is just a lottery, then let's pack up the research, go home, cross our fingers and eat. Trying to blindly manipulate one's lipid profile is silly. This isn't a game of blackjack. Altering the level of one thing may be causing unexpected problems elsewhere. It is an extremely complex system.

But on the bright side, humans are GREAT with complex systems. That's why we use help grow dent corn...which we feed to salmon (duh!).
Sanjeev said…
I can see some of these working for many people because they will break people out of habitual, midnless eating.

This is actually IMHO a very viable theory that is being researched - Wansink's book is a good resource on this.

One of the things that's keeping me on track currently IMHO is that eating a large salad forces my attention back on the food many more times than eating the same number of calories as butter would.

I don't think this TV-forced increase of mindless eating explains the "obesity epidemic" though because prior to the rise of TV mediated inattentional eating replaces some social eating, and social eating is also known to increase calories per meal.
Sanjeev said…
ugh ... sorry for the typos/grammar, hope the meaning came through

> prior to the rise of TV mediated inattentional eating replaces some social eating, and social eating is also known ...
should be

... because the rise of TV mediated inattentional eating replaced some social eating, which is known ...
Anonymous said…
I don't often read this blog, and have never commented on it before. And I do eat a low carb/paleo diet. For two years, I have maintained my weight at around 215 after peaking at 255. I find that keeping my fat and refraining from all non-vegetable and non-fruit carbs seems to suppress my appetite. When I add sugar or grains to my diet, my weight starts creeping up.

I am not going to argue the science here, as I am not a scientist. I am a former fat (er, okay fatter) guy who used a low carb/paleo diet to drop 40 pounds and keep it off. Can you concede that low carb/paleo will work for some people regardless if the explanation for it is all wrong?

Charles, I noticed your name on a lot of the comments, so I thought you might have a site with a diet/exercise philosophy. What I found was lots of comments on other blogs.

I got started on this whole journey from reading an article about Gary Taubs in Readers Digest. I then bought "Why We Get Fat" and found Jimmy's podcast. Anyway, it worked for me. Jimmy must be on to something that works for him too because, no matter what, a weight loss of the magnitude that Jimmy did is hard. Most 400 pounders stay 400 pounds, or get heavier, or die.

One other point, I work with someone who used to weigh well over 400 pounds. He is now around 230 lbs and has been making slow progress downward over a long timeframe using a low carb/paleo diet too. I don't think it's the perfect diet, or the only diet, but damn it worked for me.

I guess you could say that eating low-fat and exercising is just as valid. I did exercise a lot (and am a for-real under four hour marathoner 3:31:52) but found even with weights and running I still got fatter. I am not a low carb prophet, in fact most people who know me think I increased my mileage. In fact, I stopped running altogether and just do bodyweight exercise.
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